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Oral Health Advocates Call for More Emphasis on Dental Coverage in Health Care Reform

Earlier this year, California lawmakers approved the elimination of dental benefits for adult beneficiaries of Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program.

Experts say adults who lose dental coverage might delay seeking care, which could lead to increased emergency costs from untreated oral infections or other complications.

A California Healthline Special Report by Pat McConahay includes comments from:

Dean Chalios, the California Dental Association’s vice president for public policy; Paul Glassman, director and professor of Community Oral Health at the University of the Pacific; and Daphne Von Essen, president of the California Dental Hygienists’ Association.

Advocates say national health care reform efforts should address dental coverage and reimbursement issues. In addition, they stress that good oral health care for children can prevent serious conditions later in life (McConahay, California Healthline, 7/10).